January 7, 2017

Jan. 7

January 7, 2017:  Saturday before Epiphany

  • 'Crown' tie bar:  Say, The Lord is king (psalm)
  • 'Music' tie:  Sing to the Lord a new song (psalm)
  • 'Mary' pin:  Mary was at the Cana wedding feast (gospel)
  • Red and white in 'Mele Kalikimaka' shirt:  Wine at the wedding feast (gospel)
  • 'Golden calf' pin:  Be on your guard against idols (1st reading)
  • "No-'L'" pin:  Christmas season continues

Pope Francis:  Epiphany Angelus
We learn from the Magi not to devote only spare time and occasional thoughts to Jesus. Clothe yourself in the light following the star of Jesus, and love the Lord with all your might.  In our life there are several stars; it's up to us to choose which to follow.  There are flashing lights that come and go, small pleasures of life:  good but not enough.  The Magi invite us to follow the true Light; it doesn't dazzle but accompanies and gives joy.  Among the shooting stars, follow the bright star of Jesus and have joy like the Magi's!
Don't be afraid of this light; open up to the Lord.  If you've lost the strength to look or are dominated by the darkness of life, take courage; the light of Jesus can overcome the darkness.
  • 1 Jn 5:14-21  We're confident that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us and it's ours.  If you see another sinning, pray and God will give him life.  God protects those begotten by him.  We belong to God, but the world is under the Evil One.  God's Son has given us discernment to know Who is true.  We're in Christ, true God, eternal life.  Children, be on your guard against idols.
  • Ps 149:1-6a, 9b  "The Lord takes delight in his people."  Sing and dance God's praise.  The Lord loves his people and adorns the lowly with victory.
  • Jn 2:1-11  When wine ran short at a wedding feast at Cana, Mary told Jesus, then told the servers to do whatever he says.  He told them to fill the jars with water and bring some to the headwaiter.  When the headwaiter tasted it, he told the groom that people usually serve good wine first, but the groom saved the good wine.  His disciples began to believe in him.
      • Creighton:  Today’s readings teach transformative trust in God.  Mary intercedes with Jesus in behalf of the wedding couple, leading to a miracle inspiring the disciples’ belief.  We still see miracles.  People say Lourdes gives opportunities for spiritual healing and personal transformation.  I believe individuals who turn their will over to a Higher Power change in unimaginable ways.  The 1st reading recognizes human weakness, acknowledging we're not in control; it's a call to support and intercede for the weak.  We pray for our epiphany, our insight. Lord, help me recognize and accept your grace.  Comfort me in my admission that I'm not in control.  Help me admit my failures and trust in your protection.  Don't let me forget my community.  Remind me to support and intercede for those in need.
        The wedding at Cana/ Veronese
      • One Bread, One Body:  "Charge it":  Jesus wants to come into our lives and be our Lord, but we put him off.  Open your heart and pray that life and power be given to us sinners. We must do whatever Jesus tells us so he can transform our weakness into his glory and power and transform the world for Jesus.  "We belong to God, while the world is under the evil one."  We have "authority to expel unclean spirits and cure sickness and diseases."  Charge!
      • Passionist:   I believe God chose Mary because she always said yes when called on to love.  In today's gospel Jesus changed water to wine; Mary asked him to.  Jesus' first public miracle is read between Christmas and Epiphany. where God is made manifest.  Today, choose love over fear, expect a miracles, and find God.
      • DailyScripture.net:  "Jesus manifested his glory at Cana":  John tells us Jesus did many signs in his disciples' presence; he recorded seven to strengthen our belief that "Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God" so we might have life.  The first was at a wedding reception in Cana, close to where Jesus grew up, on the 3rd day, three days after Nathaniel’s first encounter with him.  Philip had encouraged Nathaniel to “come and see” Jesus for himself.  When he did, Jesus revealed something personal about Nathaniel that no one would have know, then said he'd see greater things:  heaven opened, and angels ascending and descending upon the Son of man."  He essentially said he'd perform signs to prove what he's saying and who he is.  Three days later, he takes his disciples to a wedding reception and saves the couple from embarrassment. When his mother presses him to do something, he seems to put her off, but she knows he'll handle the situation.  Maybe they ran out of wine because Jesus brought his disciples to the feast at the last minute.  But Jesus turned the fiasco into a blessing by giving everyone plenty of fine wine.  The miracle is more than a demonstration of his power to change nature; it's a sign he came to transform believers' lives.
      Wedding feasts are big events, happy, memorable occasions that bring families, neighbors, and sometimes the whole town together.  For Jews they also symbolize God’s covenant with his people.  God is described as Israel's Bridegroom and his covenant relationship described as a spiritual marriage.  The wedding banquet is a powerful image of heaven; the Bible ends with an invitation to it:  "The Spirit and the Bride say, 'Come.'"  So when Jesus chose a wedding feast for his sign, he hints at something that becomes more explicit when John the Baptist describes Jesus as the betrothed bridegroom of his people.  In other gospels Jesus also alludes to his role as Israel's bridegroom when he invites both Jews and Gentiles to his heavenly banquet. 
      A good winemaker can turn grape juice into wine by waiting for the grapes to mature, picking choice grapes, crushing them, adding water, yeast, and sugar, letting the mixture ferment for weeks, skimming off solids, and aging the liquid.  Jesus instantly produced 120 gallons of fine wine that would normally require years to age.  The miracle shows Jesus' power to transform natural things; he has God's power to create, transform, and change creation. 
      If Jesus can change water into wine, he can change us through the Spirit's transforming power.  Jesus gave power to all who received and believed in him to become God's children.  The Cana sign points to his power to transform us to be people of love, joy, peace, and life like him.  He'll bless us with his presence, love, and power.  Jesus knows better than we do what holds us back from letting him change and transform us (weak faith, feeling of unworthiness, anxiety, despair...) and offers freedom and transformation through the Spirit.  May we let go of whatever keeps us from trusting in him:  fear, pride, unbelief, stubbornness....

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